They claimed they were releasing all sealed documents from the Roger Stone trial, not just juror questionnaires, but also grand jury testimony. Their statements were inconsistent about whether, by “sealed documents,” they meant everything that had been loaded onto the docket (which might include just Steve Bannon and Randy Credico’s grand jury transcript, both of which were litigated before the trial), or everything released in discovery to Stone.
They purported to be journalists exposing a miscarriage of justice of an American hero, by which they meant Roger Stone.
They were given to us, they did not come from Roger Stone, they did not come from anyone on his defense team, we’ve never met Roger Stone. … What happened was court packing.
They claimed they had a journalistic duty to release these documents to show a systematic conspiracy, led by Judge Amy Berman Jackson, against Stone, to pack the jury. They claimed, “Not a single juror” on Stone’s trial, “watches Fox News,” that they are instead “religious Rachel Maddow viewers.” They also claimed one could never have a lawyer on a jury.
The documents released (which I won’t link) demonstrated, once again, that their implementation was embarrassingly shoddy and their claims were false. All they released were juror questionnaires, and they didn’t release the questionnaires all 12 jurors. They uploaded the questionnaire of one juror twice (making ten total). Those jurors described their media diet this way:
- occasionally a CNN headline
- DC Fox 5 News
- Fox 5 News
- New York Times, established news sources that appear in my Google Feed (WSJ, Washington Post, etc.)
- Wall Street Journal
- NYT, Washington Post, NPR
- Washington Post, NPR
- Washington Post, Facebook, Twitter
- Washington Post, PBS Newswire, NPR
- Washington Post, Apple News Service, Twitter, Facebook, New York Times, CNN, Politico, The Hill, CBS News, “not regularly, but CNN Shows (Anderson Cooper), MSNBC — Rachel Maddow/Chris Hayes
Admittedly, local Fox News is not the same thing as Fox News Channel, but at least two of the jurors listed it as their primary news diet, a refutation of Wohl and Burkman’s entire premise.
The last bullet — the only one specifically naming Rachel Maddow — is from the foreperson, the woman on whose selection Stone based his bid for a new trial (and for more juror information on which Mike Cernovich is attempting to intervene in Stone’s case). But all the foreperson’s questionnaire shows is that Stone had notice of her liberal news watching diet during voir dire, and his team didn’t choose to disqualify her. That is, they are to blame for her presence on the jury, not ABJ or the DC District Court or anyone but Stone.
Likewise, just four or five jurors said they had heard anything about Stone’s case. Three who had seen coverage of Stone had generally remembered his arrest (which, given the right wing propaganda suggesting he was ill-treated, would have been helpful to Stone). Again, the foreperson is the one person who commented negatively, describing that he “is accused of inappropriate contact Russian officials in the effort of helping Mr. Trump’s campaign for President.” She is also the person who had the most family members — a niece and a brother — who had been prosecuted for a crime.
Wohl and Burkman claimed that the jury was packed with CIA people and lawyers. In reality, that consisted of two people (including the foreperson) who each said they had a single friend who worked for the FBI, one person whose father had worked for CIA for 2-3 years in the 1960s before the juror was born, and one person whose son is in the Coast Guard.
This is the frothy right’s idea of a Deep State plot against Roger Stone.
Wohl and Burkman did not mention that the juror with the most direct, high level current political connection has a spouse who appears to work for a conservative Republican Senator.
In short, like all their hoaxes, this one was badly executed and based on lies.
But the poor execution may be the downfall. The released documents don’t actually reveal anything beyond what had already been identified during the initial frenzy against he foreperson (and since the foreperson gave credible responses in the hearing, backed by the testimony of two other jurors who said she was one of the last jurors to vote to convict). But Wohl and Burkman failed to redact the handwritten notes about a potential juror on one of the questionnaires.
This is going to make it easier to identify the potential sources for this document, something that ABJ was already trying to do in the hearing earlier this week.
There is a concerted effort on the part of the frothy right to violate every single norm of jury service, all to discredit a slam-dunk case against Roger Stone that even Bill Barr said was righteous. And for once these shithole hoaxsters may have done some good — in the form of helping the FBI figure out who’s behind it all.